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American Chamber of Commerce Helps Junior Achievement Celebrate 20 years in Ireland

JA 20th Anniversary for JAWebMark Redmond, American Chamber of Commerce; Siobhan Collins, Avaya; Helen Raftery, Junior Achievement Ireland; and Mark Gantly, Hewlett Packard celebrating 20 years of Junior Achievement in Ireland

The work of volunteers with JAI was featured at the ‘Why Ireland? Celebrating Great Innovation in Ireland’ event in Galway organised by the American Chamber of Commerce recently.

The contribution of US companies in Ireland goes far beyond the economic impact. US companies are responsible for significant social benefits in communities throughout the country as they provide substantial human and financial resources to support innovative and inclusive programmes such as those facilitated by volunteers working with JAI.

Amcham 2Siobhán Collins of AVAYA speaking at the ‘Why Ireland? Celebrating Great Innovation in Ireland’ eventIn celebrating 20 years of industry-education partnerships in the west, guests at the event considered the impact of volunteers working with students in combating educational disadvantage and promoting the relevance of what young people were studying with their post-school futures and the ‘real world’. Attendees heard at first-hand the impact of these types of initiatives as Siobhán Collins who completed JA programmes as a student and subsequently became a JA volunteer at AVAYA said: “I participated in JA programmes when I was a student and I jumped at the opportunity to become a volunteer when I joined AVAYA.  Teaching a JA programme was a great opportunity to get involved, and give back, to my community. JAI plays an invaluable role in encouraging young people to stay in education and teaching them the skills they will need in the future. I’m delighted to celebrate JAI’s 20th Anniversary and would love to volunteer again in the future.”

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Students Acquire Entrepreneurial Spirit in the PorterShed

 EIA In PorterShed Collage for jai web pageVolunteer John McIntyre with students from Merlin College and Galway Community College during the Enterprise in Action visit to the PorterShed

Students from Galway Community College and Merlin College recently visited The PorterShed as part of the Enterprise in Action programme sponsored by Citi Foundation.  The enterprise programme is designed to promote the relevance of entrepreneurial thinking and provides a structured 5-week programme of activities to allow students to practice innovative thinking and challenges them to understand ethical decision-making.

During their visit the students had an opportunity to meet with business leaders and entrepreneurs based in the PorterShed including Mary Rodgers, Innovation Community Manager, The PorterShed; Maricka Burke Keogh, Altocloud; Amanda Halpin, Altocloud; Dr. Fergal Monaghan, JumpStart Software; and David Cunningham, Privity Pay and founder of the Lean Startup Summit EMEA.  Students also participated in Enterprise in Action entrepreneurial activities with John McIntyre from AIB in Lynch’s Castle.

During  the 2016/17 school year 80 professionals from a range of supporting organisations including Citi have been volunteering to work with more than 2,000 senior level students in their own classrooms to complete Enterprise in Action. Over the course of five weeks, the volunteers have highlighted the role of business in Ireland and introduced young people to entrepreneurship in a practical way that equips them with life skills which can be carried into adulthood.

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Challenge Science Opens World of Discovery for Galway Students!

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More than 100 pupils from Primary Schools in Galway had the chance to experience the wonderful world of science recently thanks to Challenge Science 2017, supported by Boston Scientific.

The enthusiastic  students from Holy Trinity N.S., Mervue, Scoil Chroí Íosa, Newcastle, Bullaun N.S. and Clarinbridge N.S. were given the opportunity to view the fantastic facilities in NUI Galway (NUIG) and were tutored by business volunteers from Boston Scientific, who shared their experience of working in the medical device industry and held workshops on Forensic  Science, Defence against Disease, Careers in Science, Technology and Engineering.  They were also treated to a tour of the Science Department and Campus at NUIG by student volunteers from the ALIVE programme.

27417 13The workshops provided an appreciation of the world of science and each of the activities focused on a highly topical scientific subject – like the use of science in solving crime and the vital role of bioscience in protecting against the spread of disease and bacteria. 

Prof. Donal Leech, Dean of Science at NUIG, commented “NUIG are delighted to host Challenge Science which is hugely valuable in developing an interest in science and I hope to see some of the pupils back in NUIG in the future as  Science students or even working in the Science or Engineering departments at the campus.

The enthusiasm of the students was evident from the start as the workshops with the Boston Scientific staff really helped the students to realise that you can take several different paths in order to work in the field of science.  The teams also showed that science can be so enjoyable and we heard lots of excitement and enthusiasm in the workshops today, as the students vied against each other to be No. 1 forensic detective!

Siobhan Hopper, Boston Scientific, Galway addressed the students, saying: “It’s great to see so many young people with an interest in Science and Technology.  It’s important to continue to develop that interest and keep up STEM (Science, Technology, engineering, Maths) subjects in Secondary School.  You the students here today might be designing or making products that can save and improve lives in the future!  Who knows? We might see you applying for roles with Boston Scientific in years to come. I’d like to thank your teachers and your schools for supporting you and bringing you to this event and for helping to develop an interest in STEM at a young age, particularly given our location here at the Medical Device Hub here in Galway.

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Student Entrepreneurs Claim Regional Crown

Regional Finalists Collage for WebsiteRegional finalists of the Údarás na Gaeltachta Comórtas Fiontraíochta

Four emerging enterprises founded by local students in the Mayo and Galway Gaeltacht areas have been crowned regional finalists of the Údarás na Gaeltachta - Clár Comhlachta.

Clár Comhlachta is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) and is taught by business volunteers through the Irish language to students in Gaeltacht regions.  500 Transition Year students from Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Meath & Waterford have participated this year and challenged themselves to create, operate and manage their very own business!

Following intense days of competition in both Mayo & Galway the following four entreprises; 'CPA Woodwork' from Coláiste Pobail, Acla, ‘Cluasáin Clúdaithe’ from Scoil Mhuire, Béal an Mhuirthead, Blas de Chonamara  from Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara, Carna and Cothú Cinnte from Colaiste Chroi Mhuire from An Spiddeal were chosen to progress and represent their region in the National Final of the Údarás na Gaeltachta – Clár na gComhlachtaí.

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JAI & Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Partnership Continues in 2017

CastlebarCelebrating the First Cohort of EPA Volunteers - Thank You to Our Mayo-based Volunteers 

We were delighted to partner with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the first time. During 2015/16 school year 29 EPA employees from Head Office, Johnstown Castle Estate, Wexford and the Regional Inspectorate in Castlebar Co. Mayo volunteered to teach Junior Achievement programmes in primary and second level schools. Local students from senior infants to Transition Year students got the chance to complete JA programmes because of the EPA volunteers. 

droneDrone Display at student Science workshopIn addition to teaching a programme, 11 volunteers arranged for students to visit the EPA to further develop their understanding of the correlation between education and the workplace. Activities included site tours and a very special science workshop in which the students enjoyed seeing a hovercraft and a drone in operation and river micro fauna displays.

Thanks to each of our first volunteers from the EPA - hard acts to follow! We look forward to continuing our partnership with the EPA in the Dublin, Monaghan and Kilkenny sites in 2017.

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